No Regulation For Cannabis Testing Labs, Many Facilities Maybe Letting Dirty Cannabis Slide

Every State Has Different Rules Concerning Lab Testing, Only National Legalization Would Create Uniformity

Lab testing companies around the world are typically regulated, but not cannabis lab testing companies here in the United States, at least not really. When a state elects to mandate that its legal marijuana be tested for pesticides, fungus and cannabinoid composition, the state would then be the authority that would designate a regulatory body for making sure that all cannabis was tested and tested properly. The challenge is that the marijuana industry is still new, and many states may not have gotten around to creating a well structured regulatory body. Nearly every state that has legalized marijuana mandates that cannabis be tested, accept Arizona. But, there is evidence that lab testing companies are letting dirty cannabis slide.

Cultivators and dispensaries would really rather not have to pay the extra costs of having their marijuana tested. They in particular do not want to have their marijuana fail the testing, meaning the lab found pesticides, fungus or some sort of toxin on the cannabis. If that happens, the crop needs to be disposed of and that means a lot of potential lost money. So, it stands to reason that a cultivator may want to look for a lab testing company they believe will make sure their cannabis passes the testing. It also stands to reason that a lab testing company is interested in business and they feel the pressure from their clients to make sure the cannabis passes.

One scientist analyzed a number of marijuana testing labs in Washington and discovered that four labs had gone months without rejecting any of the marijuana they had tested. These perfect results are virtually impossible to achieve without turning a blind eye or tampering with the data. In other words, the labs were simply letting the marijuana slide through the regulatory process, regardless of its contents or contaminants.

Unfortunately, cannabis’ classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act prevents the federal government from implementing any meaningful, nationwide, standardized regulations on cannabis. As the Washington Post points out, these types of regulations already exist for alcohol.

The top of the line accreditation for any sort of lab testing company in the entire world comes from the ISO or the International Organization for Standardization. Cannabis lab testing companies can, on their own, elect to seek out ISO 17025 Accreditation, which would be going above and beyond in ensuring the consuming public they were purchasing exactly what they believed they were buying. If marijuana ever became nationally legalized, the federal government is likely to mandate that all cannabis lab testing companies seek out the ISO 17025 Accreditation. In the meantime, research what your state mandates for lab testing are and also lookup the dispensary you are thinking about purchasing cannabis from and find out how they go about getting their cannabis tested. Many people may not care that much about lab testing marijuana since they have been consuming illegal black market marijuana for a long time, but in a regulated indsutry consumers should know what they are spending their hard earned money on.


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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